Every Christmas, veterinarians across the country see a marked rise in the number of cases of pancreatitis in dogs of all ages. This is because the holiday brings an increased number of scenarios that can potentially lead to a dog becoming sick. This acute, painful pancreas inflammation can be deadly in many cases, so it’s vital that dog owners understand the causes of pancreatitis, the symptoms, and what measures must be taken to prevent cases of canine pancreatitis.


Causes of Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is the term for inflammation of the pancreas, an organ that works to help the body metabolise sugars and produce insulin. In addition, the dog’s pancreas produces enzymes that are vital for digesting nutrients.


Pancreatic inflammation is seen most often during the holidays, when dog owners are doing lots of home cooking. Many dogs are affected by pancreatitis when they’re fed table scraps that are greasy and high in fat. In addition, a significant percentage of animals fall ill after stealing fat trimmings or other fatty food scraps from the garbage. 


Symptoms of Pancreatitis

Dogs with pancreatitis usually fall ill fairly suddenly, within a matter of hours. The most common symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Hunched posture
  • Painful abdomen 
  • Distended, enlarged abdomen 
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dehydration 
  • Diarrhoea

Symptoms of pancreatitis can become very acute and a dog can become critically and even fatally ill very quickly, so if you suspect your dog may have pancreatitis, you should seek veterinary attention immediately.